We examined the effects of multiple goals on verbal responses in an interpersonal conflict situation. Participants who had high or low levels of concern for the personal resource talked with an experimental actor and were made to believe that trained observers would evaluate his or her ability to cooperate or to be assertive based on their conversation. Then, they experienced a conflict resulting from an irrational demand that the actor expressed either politely or impolitely. Participants chose an integrative strategy in the presence of any two of the following conditions: low levels of participants' own concern for the personal resource, observers who would evaluate participants' ability to cooperate, and the actor's use of polite expression. When the opposite conditions applied the participants chose a distributive strategy. In addition, it was found that when a participant's level of concern for the personal resource was high, the use of a polite expression increased the likelihood of a mitigating strategy being adopted whereas the use of an impolite expression increased the likelihood of a hostile strategy being adopted. The results are discussed in light of tactical decision-making processes proposed by the multiple goals theory.